The goal of any business is growth. You started a business to create financial freedom, to be in control of your time and to make an impact. As you accomplish those goals and your business grows, the natural byproduct will be more exposure to people and situations that require your time and energy.
Social media has created the ability for anyone to be reached. You can receive messages on most social media platforms and through email. As your business builds, you will get more questions and requests to connect with other entrepreneurs. You will field complaints and even odd messages.
If left unchecked, the extra attention can derail your schedule and take time away from doing the things that will help your business continue to grow. We’re human beings, which means we are blessed with an ego. The attention can be dangerously intoxicating.
To build a business that scales beyond your goals, you have to teach others to respect your boundaries and your business. Here are three things to consider while you build.
Respect starts with you.
If you want people to respect your boundaries and business, you have to start by honoring and respecting yourself. Set a goal to become the strongest version of yourself in your mind, body and spirit. When you respect yourself, you refuse to put up with anything that doesn’t honor you, your business and your decisions.
We all do things we regret. Every entrepreneur has made poor business decisions. That’s part of your experience and that’s okay. Forgive yourself and respect yourself. Let the respect you have for yourself be so strong that others can feel it without you having to say a single word.
Wake up every day determined to put in the work that makes you stronger mentally and better at what you do. Respect yourself by making choices that allow you to live a healthy and productive life. Respect yourself with self-love practices. It doesn’t have to be a catchphrase. You can mean it and demonstrate it in your business.
Say no and mean it.
As human beings, each of us has some people pleaser tendencies within us. We find it hard to say no even though our intuition is screaming at us. The reason our boundaries get violated is because of our unwillingness to say NO more often and mean it. Learning how to say no is a critical part of your growth and success.
You teach others how to treat your business by what you’ll tolerate. If you allow other people to test your boundaries after you’ve said no, what happens next is on you. You have to mean it. You have to learn when to say no and your NO’s have to be clear.
Let your actions do the talking. As you say no more often and put those boundaries in place, people will be less likely to test them. This can be casual connections, business connections, fans or followers, and even family members. Teach others to respect your no by meaning it.
Don’t carry other people’s baggage.
Chances are, you’ve already accepted someone else’s baggage into your business. This could include late payments, missed payments, frequent requests for discounts, low-tier offers to barter, criticism of how you operate your business, people wasting your time, and more. It’s okay that other people have issues but accepting less than you know you have earned sends a signal that will attract others who do the same.
You don’t have to work with pain in the you-know-what clients. You don’t have to tolerate disrespect. You don’t have to compromise your price or values. Don’t accept it. Don’t let other people influence your business decisions. Teach them you won’t be having it.
Have an abundance mindset. When you live in scarcity, you tolerate more than you should because you think that’s what will get the bills paid. It might, but at what cost? There is more than enough income and opportunity for everyone willing to work for it.
Set the tone that others will follow. Be intentional with the boundaries you set and how you teach people to treat your business. Respect yourself by taking care of you first and refusing to let anyone else compromise your values. Set high standards and goals for yourself.
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This Article first appeared in entrepreneur